Las Moicas, the criminal cell that disputes California with "El Chapo"
Writing 24 HOURS March 18, 2017 1:25 am
They have areas of influence in Michoacán, but they are not part of La Familia; They produce cocaine and heroin, says DEA
Seven years ago, the Las Moicas group was identified for the first time as a drug cartel after several arrests for the distribution of cocaine and heroin in northern California.
A report by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that they are trafficking large quantities of drugs in at least six California regions, including San Ysidro, Imperial, Bakersfield, San Francisco and Sacramento. They also have a presence in Reno, Nevada.
The report notes that the organization is among one of the 8 organizations active in California.
The other criminal groups included in the list are: the Juárez Cartel, Los Beltrán Leyva and the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG).
In addition, its territory of greatest control is in the county of Orange, that borders Los Angeles, in the south of California, where they distribute around 70% of the substances.
Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel, its main rivals
The DEA report notes that the Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) cartel, headed by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias "El Mencho", is its main rival in Orange.
While in northern and southern regions of the state it competes with the Sinaloa Cartel, linked to Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.
Operation and method of illicit labor
The group has a simple way of working that has been very lucrative: they cook and prepare the drugs in Michoacán, they are put into hidden compartments of engines or transmissions of vehicles and cross the border into the United States.
From there, they distribute the drugs in California and the money obtained is then returned to Michoacán.
The origins of Las Moicas
The group has its base of operations in Michoacán (Mexico) and in the past had links with La Familia Michoacana, although it is not a cell of this cartel today.
While operating on a smaller scale than other Transnational Criminal Organizations (OCTs), as the DEA calls them, Las Moicas is a regional drug provider in California, especially in central and northern parts of the state.
The group works mainly with cocaine and heroin.
Internal control within the organization
The DEA indicates that it is not known who controls the group or who is the new leader, but has evidence that it has gained ground, to the point of contesting control of the West Coast with the Sinaloa Cartel, The Knights Templar, or the New Generation Jalisco Cartel.
In 2009, the DEA to its presumed leader, Fabio Cazares-Zamora, who was sentenced to 14 years in prison plus 5 probation. With information from the BBC
If Beltran Leyva and Juarez are operating in California, it must be at a very limited level. I think you'd have to go back 10 years to find a federal indictment filed in the state, involving either of those groups.
I'd agree that Los Moicas send a lot of crystal to cities in California, but they aren't comparable to Sinaloa, in that regard. Orange County and Nor Cal have long been strongholds of the Michoacan trafficking groups.